Writing Prompt Story Starter: The Beach

Shutterstock / Larina Marina © writing prompt

This week’s writing prompt is the beach. Summer is here at last and we’re in the mood for fun in the sun!

Sandcastles, ice cream, seagulls, deck chairs and wind breakers. No matter how old we get, a day trip to the beach is just exciting as it was when we were children.

Beside the sea

Here in the UK, we’re lucky. Living on an island, it’s so easy for us to get to the seaside. But what about those living in landlocked countries or in countries that are so big it takes hours to get to the shore? Is your character experiencing the beach and the ocean for the very first time at an older age?

Perhaps it’s not a holiday trip, but a more serious one. Is your character a marine biologist, studying delicate ecosystems? Are they doing a beach clean-up, removing plastic and rubbish before it gets to the ocean?

Is your character collecting cockles and mussels to sell? Do they collect sea glass, shells, pebbles or driftwood to make art or furniture?

Maybe they’re there to try something new or stay active – surfing, wild swimming, water-skiing, paddle-boarding or beach volleyball.

Out of season

A story at the beach doesn’t have to take place in summer time.

If your character is local to the area, perhaps they go for regular walks or runs along the beach. Maybe they walk their dog there.

Do they own a beach-side business and need to attract more custom outside of the tourist months?

Are they a photographer or artist, capturing a stormy scene? Or trying to get a great shot of an in-flight or diving sea bird?

Is the beach known to be full of fossils?

The main event

Think about events that take place at or near the beach. Air shows, sandcastle competitions, seaside festivals, fun fairs.

If you head somewhere more tropical, you might get to see turtles hatching.

Forts were often built near the beach to protect from invading ships. Is there a fort or castle for your character to explore? Perhaps the big draw is an intricate cave system?

The sands of time

Speaking of caves, what about smugglers? Is this the 1700s? Are pirates arriving in the dead of night, hidden by the sea mists?

Is it the classic Victorian day out? Punch and Judy, fish and chips, bathing machines, striped swimsuits and donkeys? What’s the twist?

Perhaps your main character is a lighthouse keeper? Back when the lighthouses needed people to maintain them?

There are an infinite number of stories to be told with a beach setting. We’d love to read yours!

Try another writing prompt here.

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.